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May 06, 2006

A Rap on your Knuckes!

I have come across Halls of Shames - where names of employees who performed abysmally in a particluar month were flashed in some form of a communication to the rest of the members of the team. And I never ever could comprehend how it served any purpose other than having a thoroughly demotivated workforce.

But this Californian company takes the cake for worst employee practices - spanking, making employees wear diapers, public humilation...but wait....i think whats worse is the attitude towards such kind of behaviours and the reasons given for it.

COO Patrick Smith, while acknowledging that the behaviour of his employees was wrong, also has this to say: "You have to understand the sales mentality. Sales guys are just that way."
To ask "which way" might mean giving away too much of your ignorance i guess.

The article also says:
"Katherine Hart, a Fresno attorney who represented the defendants, said during a phone interview on the day of the verdict that employee conduct at the security company was "reprehensible, but the intent was not to be malicious or sadistic."
Even Kayva Vishwanathan said that she did not "intend" to plagiarise.

Another one:
"It was young people acting juvenile and engaging in juvenile behavior," Hart noted. "They didn’t have much supervision and the company promoted salespeople without enough training. One woman (a plaintiff in an earlier case against Alarm One) was bruised (with a metal paddle). It was meant playfully--slaps on the butt. Then catcalls. It escalated."
The only training i can think of in this context is training in first aid. You would need it - when the blood starts oozing out.

Yet another:
Defense attorney Hart says the case is "an example of what happens when top management isn’t in touch at the grass-roots level. "The managers must have been out of touch. If they’d acted more like the CEO at Costco (Jim Sinegal), who personally visits every store, this never would have happened."
Your top management can visit the stores and still not know - if the culture does not promote communication and especially if you have policies like "specifying that employees could go to only a few upper-level managers with problems - which this firm had.

And the last one:
Despite headlines and the magnitude of the company’s mess, Smith says "everyone" at the company is happy and the work environment is very good. Alarm One--which had 400 employees at its peak in 2002--now has only 50 employees because of changes in the industry, Smith says. It is currently developing a new strategic plan for building the company.

I wish them all the best!


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